MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. The Russian Justice Ministry has sent another request to hand over Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko sentenced to 20 years behind bars in the United States.
"On April 22, the Russian Justice Ministry sent a request for Konstantin Yaroshenko’s handover addressed to the US Department of Justice to the Russian Foreign Ministry to be forwarded to the US through diplomatic channels," the ministry’s press service informed TASS.
The Russian pilot is to be handed over in accordance with the 1983 European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. Russia and the US are the parties to the convention. According to the Russian Justice Ministry, the Convention sets no deadlines for considering such requests.
On September 7, 2011, a US court sentenced Yaroshenko to 20 years in jail. He pled not guilty and described the charges as a frame-up and the arrest as a provocation. He had been brought to the United States from Liberia, where he was arrested in May 2010. Agents of the US Drug Enforcement Administration staged a sting operation to allegedly expose Yaroshenko’s intention to transport a large batch of cocaine.
Until June 2018, Yaroshenko had been serving out his sentence at the Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution (New Jersey), but later on he was transferred to a transit prison in Brooklyn, New York, and then to the Danbury prison, which holds more than 1,400 inmates.
The Russian authorities and the pilot’s family in Rostov-on-Don have repeatedly asked the US to hand Yaroshenko over to Russia.